A friend of ours who is in heaven now, made the following observations in the latter stages of terminal cancer. She and Marti developed a deep relationship via email that sustained them both through a lot even though they never met in person. One thing she shared with Marti was her love and care for roses. We now have roses in our backyard because of Kay, and I know Marti talks to her often back there.
She also kept her dry sense of humor through most of her ordeal. “Okay, I have lung cancer,” she once wrote, “but I can deal with that. Oops, swollen lymph nodes… okay, can deal with that. Six spots on ribs – both sides – well that took several days, but I am dealing with it. Maybe I can live 15 years on chemo. I learned recently of a person with home chemo: You just hook up a fanny pack I.V. and do it yourself.”
This is where we learn to laugh and cry at the same time.
Kay was always a great one for hard questions and she never held anything back. She always spoke her mind. “Here’s a question for you today,” she once wrote: “How come there are so many darn good people out there who don’t know Jesus?” This question plays havoc with the popular notion that all Christians are good people and all non-Christians are bad.
“A friend drove three hours to pray with me wearing a Beatles ‘Let It Be’ T-shirt for my amusement. I have often questioned negative Christians; our joy should be full. I never want to be less than joyful; I want to be crazy and creative like my friend in the Beatles T-shirt.”
And then she wrote, “I am most touched by my heathen friends. Here’s a question to chew on: ‘Where does their power to love come from? I mean, we Christians have trouble serving and we have a source! Twice this week my gay friend, Doug, an outspoken non-Christian, has pulled up in a heated SUV at 5:30 a.m. to drive me for tests (and that is but one story). Where does his power to serve come from?'”
I needed this lesson from Kay’s gay friend today because I have not been a giving person. (I almost typed “lately” right there and then stopped myself because “for as far back as I can remember” would be more like it). I want to be more like Doug.
The truth of the matter is: we are all good people, and we are all bad people, and that is precisely why we all need Jesus.